News & AnalysisSTEM CELLS

Where Do Human Eggs Come From?

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Science  07 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6052, pp. 27
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6052.27

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A key limitation for human nuclear transfer research has been the difficulty and ethical questions about obtaining oocytes from young, fertile women. A combination of factors in New York enabled one lab to receive a steady supply of healthy human oocytes from a cooperating assisted-reproduction clinic. Ultimately, over the course of 19 months, 16 women donated 270 oocytes to the research program. The researchers used this unusual resource to set up a systematic study of human nuclear transfer, which has now brought scientists significantly closer to understanding why most attempts have so far failed (see main text).